Friday, September 9, 2016

Star Wars: Link

Someone shared with me this analysis that I am linking to despite the hideous domain title, where they critique imperial actions in terms of real world military politics.

In fact, our very first glimpse of the Imperial High Command is an argument between the Army and the Navy about the strategic vulnerability of the Death Star. The stakes are high: For the Navy, the Death Star represents the ultimate in bureaucratic power-grabs, a guarantee of perpetual dominance on top of the Imperial pecking order. For the Army, the Death Star represents the potential death of their service as a viable political force. 

Nowhere is inter-service rivalry more apparent than in the lead up to the Invasion of Hoth in Empire Strikes Back. After coming out of light speed, an Army General reports to Vader that the Navy fleet has come out of light speed – a clear attempt to cut Admiral Ozzel off at the knees. Vader’s view of the situation is completely colored by the Army’s spin on the situation. Instead of allowing the Navy to give a report (and a possible justification for the strategy), the Admiral gets killed, the Army gets the glory, and CAPT Piett moves up a slot after learning a valuable lesson about the utility of throwing his Army colleagues under the bus.

(And how can we not respect an article with subtitles such as "Systems not Sith"?)

Where I was worried about this article, but in fact it turned out to be good, is that by the conclusion all these errors are presented as not mistakes.

The comfortable materialist path is to treat these sort of systemic sabotages as exceptions. "If only the Empire's military wasn't so poorly set up, then maybe they would have ruled eternally. If I was the Emperor I would..."

But this is an Empire set up by a man who gets his jollies by watching his apprentices kill each other for his favor. Of course the system will encourage backstabbing by the top generals. It's an Empire that thinks all rule should be subservient to one powerful person. Of course corruption will undermine their defense contracting system. 

(And Vader is the one who consistently steps *outside* these systems.)

The logic of the Empire itself is contradictory and inefficient. The dream of totalitarian inefficiency is just that, a dream that can't even be fully realized in a 2 hour movie.

This will be relevant in today's Worm post.

The author of the article may believe he is "over thinking it", but the evidence and logic he lays out is true.

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